Friday, December 15, 2006

Dehli 'Vision India' project slower than expected

The progress of the Delhi project of the Asian Football Confederation’s ‘Vision India’ program over the last two years has been slower than expected, AFC director of national association and clubs development Brandon Menton, told Aditya Kumar of Express India during the FIFA Futuro III program for coaching, refereeing, administration and management being hosted by the All India Football Federation. “I won’t say the Delhi project has been disappointing, but it has been rather slow. There are valid reasons for it but that can be worked around. I hope the next year would be better than the last,” he said.

The Delhi project, started in 2005, had considerable success with the launch of the school league but the city league is yet to see the light of the day. “There has been several limitations with Delhi and a settled office was one of them, now it has been sorted so we are expecting results,” said Menton. “We hope under the new president, they will be able to take control of the Ambedkar Stadium and it would be a big shot in the arm for development of football in Delhi,” he added.

An AIFF-AFC delegation is expected to meet the Delhi Soccer Association to take stock of the situation and discuss the future course of action. “We would like to see the launch of the city league in the Capital. We hope it should kick-off by August 2007. We would also like to see more schools joining the league. There is a lot of potential for growth in Delhi, we can only hope that Delhi do not let the opportunity go. Delhi don’t have to look too far for inspiration. Manipur would be a great example for them to follow. The sense of purpose and the professional manner in which Manipur conduct their events is really heartwarming. So it’s for DSA to tighten the noose and get going,” said Menton.

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